For some reason, I've always thought that doing finance within a corporation, or even a startup, is kind of boring. But, in all honesty, I don't even know what those positions entail. So, I'm hoping some of you guys can school me. What type of tasks do you do day-to-day? What are your responsibilities? How much accounting is involved? (I definitely do not want to do a lot of accounting.)

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I work at in the finance department of a mid-size corporation. There are about 15 people in our department.

You got your admin people: Billing, accounts receivable, accounts payable

You got your Analysts/ Accountants (Titles are interchangeable): These people do day-to-day accounting and ad-hoc projects. These jobs are pretty relaxed until month and year-end, when the higher-ups want to see how much money they lost.

You got your controller: Head of the accountants

You got your CFO: Works with the banks and on big-picture stuff.

My friend works at a smaller startup and the finance dept is two people. They both pretty much do all of this.

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Well if its a startup just starting, the first few months are lonely, if you have a co-founder or 's one of you will handle all the financials and split the the IT, operations and marketing. It gets pretty overwhelming.

My personal expierience with a friend (doing an ebay arbitrage startup) was: 6 months he did front end web application for customers and internal use and graphics. I did financials, operations and back end data gathering and analysis to generate data for the front end. We both worked on marketing strategy and implementation, SEO and copy for the web page. Later we got others to jump on board once they saw the insane amount of work we put into the product.

So it depends on how big the startup is, if its just 2 people you will be doing everything, its an amazing learning opportunity. Make sure you find mentors to guide you.


on the large corporation side, it really depends what specific role you have. i'm in the finance department of a BB, and i'm in a planning & analysis role, so that means i'm doing revenue and expense analysis and forecasts, budgeting, things like that. however, friends of mine who came in through the same finance program are doing things as varied as hr-related work, capital management, trading p&l, etc. no straight accounting though - that's a separate department, at least around here.


An accountant does your accounting, i didnt do any for my startup, and why would I? Im not an accountant and if i made a mistake its my nose on the line not the accountants who takes the legal responsibility off of your shoulders, besides do you really want to learn all the tax laws? If your running a startup your worried about cash flow, future expansion, how much investment you can take on, what effects different products will have, how much you charge etc not accounting.


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